With many public events shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, event organizers like Janie Curtis are anticipating a rebound effect in 2021.
Curtis, race director for RunCodyWY and owner of a few other events, is planning a return to her full slate of races for 2021 while employing health and safety protocols.
“I think with things opening up people are looking for stuff like this to do,” she said. “I’m hoping to provide this while obviously being safe with concern for COVID and staying safe with regulations.”
One of the biggest additions for 2021 will be the presence of Melvin Brewing, now a partner for all Curtis’ races. There will be a Melvin tent at each event and the company will provide a free beer to each race participant at the post-race celebration.
It all kicks off Saturday, April 10, for The Hunt Trail Race. The race takes place at the Cody Archery Range off the Greybull Highway. There are 1-mile, 6-mile and 16-mile divisions.
Due to the scenic nature of the course, bear spray and a cellphone should be on each participant during the race. All participants are required to wear orange and dress in layers. There will be a prize given to the runner with the best outfit.
Making a return this year is the Cody Beer Mile at the Park County Complex on Friday, July 16. In the Beer Mile, people can compete individually or on relay teams, but those who compete on a team have it a little easier.
“Last year , it was definitely a spectator sport,” Curtis said.
Those who compete individually will drink four beers, one for each quarter-mile stage of the race. Members of the relay teams will drink just one beer for their quarter-mile section of the race.
Competitors must drink a full Melvin Heyzeus Mexican Style Lager, or Bud Light Seltzer as a gluten free option, or Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic option. Runners must be 18 to compete and those under 21 are only allowed to drink Coca-Cola.
The first five people to register also get to participate in a Fresh Prince Cheesesteak eating contest.
Aug. 28 will be the Meeteetse Absaroka Challenge Mountain Run. The trail run features high elevation, steep climbs, and even steeper descents. There are both 5K and 15K divisions starting from the Timber Creek Ranger Station.
The very next weekend on Sept. 5, Curtis will serve as race director and co-owner for the Fistful of Dirt gravel bike race. Each of the three courses, 20-, 60- and 100-mile distances, travels throughout the Cody area after starting at City Park. The band That Damn Sasquatch will play at the after party celebration. To register for this event, visit bikesignup.com/Race/WY/Cody/FistfulOfDirt.
On Sept. 18, RunCodyWY will host its original event, the fifth-annual Buffalo Bill Cody half-marathon and 10K. This race starts and finishes at City Park as well and will feature live music afterward. The winners of each race will receive $100.
The year will finish with a return of the SantaCon Brew Fest on Dec. 18, this year to be held at the Cody Cattle Company. SantaCon is intended as a convention of Santas, so wearing a Christmas-themed or Santa outfit at the event is strongly encouraged.
Curtis said she was pleasantly surprised with the turnout and effort participants showed for the inaugural event in 2019.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers but even more surprised with the people who got fully costumed and went the extra mile with them,” she said.
There will be a variety of breweries showcasing their beer for tasting, as well as multiple drinking games. Winner of the best outfit contest will get a two-night stay in Estes Park, Colo. Raffle proceeds will benefit Downrange Warriors.
There will also be shuttles available so people can get home safely without having to drive.
Curtis said she expects there will be a cap on the number of people allowed to attend this event.
To sign up and for more info visit codysantacon.com.
For all race info, visit runcodywy.com.